The Last Atomic Bomb (2006)



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Nuclear proliferation of today is seen through the life of a Nagasaki survivor and college students dedicated to making sure the truth about the last atomic bomb deliberately used on human beings will never be forgotten. As it documents the survivor's devastating yet inspirational life, The Last Atomic Bomb interweaves the still controversial U.S. decision to use the bomb, censorship in the U.S. and Japan of the bomb or its effects, discrimination against survivors by other Japanese, buildup of nuclear weapons during the Cold War, the anti-nuclear movement, and today's nuclear proliferation issues.The Last Atomic Bomb relates the story of 10-year-old Sakue Shimohira hiding in a shelter near ground zero when the bomb exploded 60 years ago. Her emotionally wrenching experiences are interwoven with rarely seen archival footage and never-before-told accounts of what happened to her in 1945 and in subsequent years.One of the film's most powerful moments describes her sister's suicide as, she says, "the courage to die." Mrs. Shimohira, the survivor, found "the courage to live" and dedicate her life to abolishing nuclear weapons.The film follows Mrs. Shimohira - now age 70 - and two college students to Paris, London, Washington, DC and New York where they present letters to Presidents Bush and Chirac and Prime Minister Blair, inviting the government leaders to come to Nagasaki.In Paris Mrs. Shimohira shares memories in a moving encounter with an Auschwitz survivor and with high school students in London and New York City. At the film's life affirming conclusion it is clear that student Haruka has become motivated to carry on Mrs. Shimohira's nuclear abolition message to young people around the world.Robert Richter, Director and with Kathleen Sullivan one of the two Producers of The Last Atomic bomb, was a young teen-ager when World War Two ended, cheering US victory over Japan with thousands of others in Times Square. He believed Pres. Truman who told the world that the atomic bombs were used to end the war and save American lives. Only during the course of this new documentary did Richter come to realize there is another very disturbing side to this widely accepted view of history.Kathleen Sullivan is a disarmament educator, NGO rep at the United Nations, author, consultant and lecturer on nuclear issues. -- © Richter Productions

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Critic Reviews for The Last Atomic Bomb

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

The Last Atomic Bomb takes a deeply affecting look at the bombing of Nagasaki and its aftermath as seen through the eyes of a 70-year-old survivor named Sakue Shimohira.

Nov 8, 2006 | Rating: 4/5

The trauma is real, and the facts disturbing, but the doc doesn't have the chops to deliver what should be a more powerful statement.

Nov 7, 2006 | Full Review…

Perplexing in its pedestrian and not particularly balanced production.

Mar 1, 2007 | Full Review…

Ricther understands that there is strength in numbers.

Nov 16, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

In the end, the tiny Shimohira's voice is the most powerful, bearing witness in hopes that future generations will choose peace over war.

Nov 7, 2006 | Full Review…

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